CYFA and the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) have formalized a Restorative Practices Partnership (RPP) to expand restorative justice practices and community-based diversion opportunities for children and youth. The RPP with ACPD compliments CYFA’s existing partnership with the Arlington Juvenile Court Services Unit and provides additional options to support youth on their journey from accountability to community reintegration.
The RPP between CYFA and ACPD is a radical change in how our community addresses youth-based harm. For the first time, law enforcement officers can directly divert children and youth from the juvenile legal system for qualified offenses. Community-based diversion is critical to community policing because it recognizes young people’s capacity for change. Community-based diversion also reduces the possibility of collateral consequences arising from legal system involvement, which can have lasting, and often unexpected, effects on a youth throughout their life. Eligible children and youth may be diverted from formal juvenile legal system involvement into CYFA’s two restorative practice programs: Promoting Empathy through Equitable Resolution (PEER) and Youth Peer Court (YPC).
The RPP operationalizes the work of the County’s Police Practices Group by advancing community policing beyond engagement to systemic reform. It creates space to reframe police response from adversarial to solution-focused and provides an opportunity to shift cultural and societal reliance on police resources. As partners, CYFA and ACPD also will collaborate to further integrate restorative philosophy into community culture by educating the community on how to appropriately use PEER and YPC absent police involvement.
To learn more about restorative justice, PEER, and YPC, please click on the buttons below.